October 20, 2021

A look inside our Fall ‘21 Product Showcase

Winona Rajamohan

Content Marketing Manager

In our Fall ‘21 Product Showcase, we took a deeper look into our latest updates and why we made them. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of what’s new with our platform and how we're continuing to improve the developer and user experience.

Over a year ago (back when we were all in this place called an office), we sat down at the drawing board to map out what our platform needed next. We asked ourselves:

How can we create an even better experience for businesses to spend less time resolving errors and more time delivering value?

To do that, our engineering, customer success, sales and marketing teams dialed in on customer feedback and got to work. We were excited to share this at our Fall ‘21 Product Showcase to show our audience what drove us to improve the Smartcar API and Connect Your Car.

📺 Want to watch a replay of the event? You can access it here.

API V2.0: How we're making it easier for developers

When we started building v2.0 of our API, we focused on three goals: to listen to customer feedback, provide developers with easier access to detailed information, and simplify the debugging process.

🚘 Error responses

With these changes, we introduced a simplified, developer-friendly process for addressing errors returned by our API. The team worked hard to review every single error type, message, and code to make improvements that could save developers even more time. These include:

  • More descriptive error code fields: By switching from numerical error codes to plain English, developers can debug faster without having to pull up our API reference.
  • Reworded error descriptions: Our engineering, customer success and copy team worked together to rewrite our error messages so they provide as much information as possible for all errors returned by our API.
  • Mirroring Status Codes and Request ID into error response body: After talking to our customers, we made this change to provide more straightforward access to a Status Code at the time an error is being handed.

Check out our updated error documentation for a detailed guide on troubleshooting steps, suggested user messages, and tips for resolving each of our errors. Use the version toggle to switch between v1.0 and v2.0 of the doc.

☑ Compatibility API

In comparison to v1.0 of our API, the v2.0 compatibility endpoint has even more information to offer. After talking to our customers, we discovered new use cases for the endpoint to provide a detailed breakdown of requested capabilities.

Version 2.0 of the compatibility API lets developers verify if a given vehicle is compatible with Smartcar and whether it is capable of the features their application requires. Using this endpoint, developers can determine whether specific vehicles are eligible before sending a user through Smartcar Connect.

We also took things one step further so you can save a step on your end. A new Reason field now explains why a vehicle does not support a requested capability. This gives developers a clear answer without any additional guidance from our Customer Success team.

You can read more about these updates in the documentation for our Compatibility API.

An even smoother vehicle owner experience

Beyond creating better developer experiences, we wanted to help our customers deliver value by driving more conversions on their mobility apps. This meant paying close attention to areas where app users were being prompted to take a next step — like on Connect Your Car.

If you don’t already know what Connect Your Car is, it’s a place where vehicle owners can learn how to set up their connected services account.

But we realized that users may have additional questions before taking the leap to connect their car to a mobility app. To make Connect Your Car more informative and user-friendly, we updated the site to include answers to common questions like:

  • What are the benefits of connecting a car and how secure is it?
  • Is a user’s car compatible with Smartcar?
  • How can a user create a connected services account (with region-based instructions)?

Keep an eye out for upcoming events and updates

If you didn’t get a chance to register for our Fall ‘21 product showcase, sign up for our newsletter and we’ll keep you posted on our next event (hint: we have more exciting announcements in store!). For help getting started on any of these updates, check out our docs or contact our Customer Success team.

New to Smartcar? Schedule a demo today to learn how our car APIs can help power your mobility app or service.

Vehicle brands, logos, and model names belong to their respective trademark holders and do not indicate endorsement of or affiliation with Smartcar.

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